Augusta gets creative

A group of five women started discussions in my home in February 2015 about starting up a creative recycling group.

The name, Creative Recycling Augusta, was decided on, and before long we began making shopping bags from recycled and some donated fabrics. The majority of the fabric was and still is sourced from local outlets such as the Lions and Red Cross. The group now meets at Augusta Uniting Church.Continue Reading

Geraldton Chaplains to hit the streets

On Saturday 23 June, Lighthouse Church in Geraldton hosted the first training day for 18 new recruits to Geraldton Street Chaplaincy. These Christians were drawn from churches across Geraldton and experienced a day of stories, training, visual information and inspiration about the ministry of Street Chaplaincy; which connects Chaplains with those who are in need on the streets.

This initiative is new to Geraldton, but at a recent Ministers Fellowship meeting we heard from the Police Officer in charge about how local Police would welcome Christian churches to initiate a Street Chaplaincy team here in our city.  The Police have witnessed the effectiveness of Street Chaplains in bringing ‘light’ to the streets of various cities and towns in WA already including Northbridge, Fremantle, Albany, Mandurah and Kununurra.   Continue Reading

Church installation at Toodyay Fibre Festival

If you are looking for a quiet life in retirement, don‘t move to the country. However, if you wish to be part of the community you live in there is no better place to live than a small rural town.

Toodyay is such a place.

During the year in Toodyay there are four major festivals plus a monthly Farmers Market, and then of course there are four churches and numerous clubs which you can join.

A casual comment was made one Sunday that perhaps Toodyay Uniting Church could think about contributing to the displays at the upcoming Fibre Festival, which was held recently in June.Continue Reading

Behind the tourist dollar

Twice a day, Wayan and his son Gede head up a hill with a load of greens hacked from the surrounding area, to tempt the palates of their hungry goats, who are giving back to the family in more ways than one.

The goats will eventually be sold to provide income for medicine, school fees, cooking oil and household items. In the meantime, they’re providing (literally) heaps of manure that can be sold off to the local coffee farmer.

High in the mountains north of Denpasar, Indonesia, Wayan and his wife Puta are part of a community left behind by the tourist dollar. They’re landless small farmers, cut out of the tourist industry and literally struggling to survive. If you’ve ever visited Bali, you’ll know how important you are to the local economy. But for local people without the means to work in hospitality or its associated industries, life in Bali is increasingly difficult. Continue Reading

Transform Tranby, transform lives

When ‘Big Kev’ found himself down on his luck and without a place to call home, he turned to UnitingCare West’s (UCW) Tranby Centre. All he wanted was a simple breakfast, a hot shower and someone to listen to his story. He was homeless, but at Tranby he found a spark of hope. That spark became a flame when our team was able to connect Kev with vital government services and eventually, to secure a small unit – his own home.

Fast forward two years and Kev still visits Tranby most days, offering advice and listening to other people’s stories. He is one of a group of people from all walks of life who have, or are still  experiencing homelessness, working with UnitingCare West on an ambitious project to ‘Transform Tranby’. Continue Reading

Open doors in the city

For many years, churches in the Perth CBD have been opening their doors and offering a place of sanctuary where people can take time out of their busy day to pray, meditate, nurture their spirituality and seek assistance as needed.

The three Uniting Churches, Wesley, Trinity and Ross Memorial, which make up Uniting Church in the City (UCIC), are open to the public every weekday to provide an oasis of peace in the midst of a busy city. Uniting Church in the City’s vision to be vibrant and distinctive worshipping communities working collaboratively to touch hearts and transform lives through Christ is evident in  this simple, but much needed, missional activity.

Workers, residents, shoppers, tourists and people seeking historical information visit the churches regularly. Many come seeking a quiet space whilst others come to view the architecture of the buildings and to trace family histories. Some come seeking assistance or just a kind, listening ear. Volunteers offer a welcoming face; greeting visitors with a friendly smile, answering questions and giving directions. Continue Reading

Period of Discernment: time between you and God

A Period of Discernment (POD) with the Uniting Church WA is an opportunity to take some time to think seriously about God’s call on your life.

Sione Leaaetoa recently undertook a POD, finishing up the year-long process last year. He began the process after studying a Bachelor of Ministry at the Perth Bible College. Sione had known for a  long time that he wanted to work for the church, and since he, his wife Ana and their three children attend Scarborough Uniting Church, they decided to explore Sione’s call to ministry through the Uniting Church WA’s POD process.

Ana is now also undertaking a POD herself.

Sione feels that his POD cemented his calling to ordained ministry, meaning he is now going into the candidating process with a stronger knowledge about life in ministry.

“We knew that we wanted to be involved in the church, but to actually have that formal time of thinking and praying about it is actually good because you’re not just making the decision out of your own ego,” Sione said. “Through the POD, my calling to ministry was cemented because I feel like this is the right place for me to go. This is the right decision.” Continue Reading